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FOI/DP Team and related matters

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Dear Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman,

From your website:

"As part of our commitment to being open and transparent, we publish information releases under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOI)."

https://www.ombudsman.org.uk/about-us/co...

It appears that your commitment to being open and transparent ended in November 2015.

1. Please provide any information – copies of notes, minutes etc – relating to your decision to stop publishing information releases.

You are currently seeking to recruit a Freedom of Information/Data Protection Manager and 3 Freedom of Information/Data Protection Officers (closing date 1 September 2017 for all posts):

https://www.ombudsman.org.uk/about-us/jo...

2. Please provide information to confirm the current structure* of the FOI/DP Team and what difference the new posts will make to the overall staff complement.

3. Please provide the name of the current Head of FOI/DP or, if no Head currently exists, the name of the person who is fulfilling the role and their job title. Specify the length of time the incumbent has been in the role.

4. Please provide information on the number and job title of any FOI/DP personnel who have left the FOI/DP Team, or have indicated that they are to leave, in the past three months.

The Information Commissioner has stated:

"The Act does not stipulate a time limit for the completion of an internal review, although section 45 of the Code of Practice associated with the Act states that they should be dealt with in a reasonable timeframe. The Commissioner’s view is that a reason able timeframe is within 20 working days or, in exceptional cases, 40 working days."

5. For the year 2016/17, please provide the total number of internal reviews you dealt with. Please also provide the number that you dealt with within 20 working days.

* I have requested details of your organisational structure in an earlier request (part 8):
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/o...

If the information I require in this request concerning the current structure is to be included in my my earlier request, there is no need for you to include it in this response.

Yours faithfully,

D Moore

informationrights@ombudsman.org.uk, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman


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phsothefacts Pressure Group left an annotation ()

Sounds like the whole of the data team have bailed out. Mmmm can't take the heat eh. I suppose there is only so long you can spend fobbing people off with nonsense before it starts to get to you.

As to the 2015 FOI release that was clearly an experiment that failed. Looks to me as though they cherry-picked the FOI requests where they were more helpful to show them in a good light. Oh how did I ever get to be so cynical!

InformationRights, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

Dear D Moore

 

Re: FDN – 274750 – FOI request

I write in response to your email of 20 August 2017 requesting information
held by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO).  Please see
details of your request and our response below.

 

From your website:

 

"As part of our commitment to being open and transparent, we publish
information releases under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOI)."

 

[1]https://www.ombudsman.org.uk/about-us/co...

 

It appears that your commitment to being open and transparent ended in
November 2015.

 

1.     Please provide any information – copies of notes, minutes etc –
relating to your decision to stop publishing  information releases.

 

This information is not held as a decision was not made to stop
publishing. We have been unable to maintain a dedicated resource for the
disclosure log due to changes in the team.

 

 

You are currently seeking to recruit a Freedom of Information/Data
Protection Manager and 3 Freedom of Information/Data Protection Officers
(closing date 1 September 2017 for all posts):

 

[2]https://www.ombudsman.org.uk/about-us/jo...

 

2.     Please provide information to confirm the current structure* of the
FOI/DP Team and what difference the new posts will make to the overall
staff complement.

 

1 Manager.

4 FOI / DP Officers.

1 Business Support Officer.

 

 

3.     Please provide the name of the current Head of FOI/DP or, if no
Head currently exists, the name of the person who is fulfilling the role
and their job title.  Specify the length of time the incumbent has been in
the role.

 

The above job title no longer exists.

We have an Interim Head of Information Assurance who has been in this role
since the start of the current financial year.

We also have an FOI/DP Manager.

 

4.     Please provide information on the number and job title of any
FOI/DP personnel who have left the FOI/DP Team, or have indicated that
they are to leave, in the past three months. 

 

Since the current financial year we have had 3 separate recruitments to
the FOI /DP officers’ role and these vacancies have been filled. We have
also recruited twice to the FOI/DP Manager role and once to the business
support role.

 

The Information Commissioner has stated:

 

"The Act does not stipulate a time limit for the completion of an internal
review, although section 45 of the Code of Practice associated with the
Act states that they should be dealt with in a reasonable timeframe. The
Commissioner’s view is that a reason able timeframe is within 20 working
days or, in exceptional cases, 40 working days."

 

5.     For the year 2016/17, please provide the total number of internal
reviews you dealt with.  Please also provide the number that you dealt
with within 20 working days.

 

In the 2016/2017 financial year we have dealt with 43 internal reviews.
Please note that target date for our internal review is 40 working days
and not 20 working days.

 

 

I hope that the information I have provided is helpful. If you believe I
have made an error in the way I have processed your information request,
it is open to you to request an internal review.  You can do this by
sending an email to [3][Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman request email]. You will need
to specify what the nature of the issue is and we can consider the matter
further. Beyond that, it is open to you to complain to the Information
Commissioner’s Office ([4]www.ico.org.uk).

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Freedom of Information/Data Protection Team

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

W: [5]www.ombudsman.org.uk

 

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References

Visible links
1. https://www.ombudsman.org.uk/about-us/co...
2. https://www.ombudsman.org.uk/about-us/jo...
3. mailto:[Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman request email]
4. http://www.ico.org.uk/
5. http://www.ombudsman.org.uk/
http://www.ombudsman.org.uk/

Dear Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman's handling of my FOI request 'FOI/DP Team and related matters'.

In response to part 3 of my request:

"3.     Please provide the name of the current Head of FOI/DP or, if no Head currently exists, the name of the person who is fulfilling the role and their job title.  Specify the length of time the incumbent has been in the role."

You responded: 

"The above job title no longer exists. We have an Interim Head of Information Assurance who has been in this role since the start of the current financial year. We also have an FOI/DP Manager."

You have not provided:

i. The name of the person who is fulfilling the role (the Interim Head of Information Assurance); and
ii. The length of time they have been in the role.

In response to part 4 of my request:

"4.     Please provide information on the number and job title of any FOI/DP personnel who have left the FOI/DP Team, or have indicated that they are to leave, in the past three months."

You responded:
 
"Since the current financial year we have had 3 separate recruitments to the FOI /DP officers’ role and these vacancies have been filled. We have also recruited twice to the FOI/DP Manager role and once to the business support role."

I did not ask about recruitment – I asked about personnel who had either left or indicated that they would leave the FOI/DP Team. You have not provided the information requested. If no one left, why didn't you tell me?

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/f...

Yours faithfully,

D. Moore

informationrights@ombudsman.org.uk, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman


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Dear Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman,

I made a mistake in my request for an internal review. I withdraw this part:

"ii. The length of time they have been in the role."

Yours faithfully,

D. Moore

informationrights@ombudsman.org.uk, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman


Thank you for your e-mail to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman. This return e-mail shows that we have received your correspondence.

______________________________________________________________________
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Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

Oh the irony!

A Freedom of Information team who won’t tell you who they are.

Ask if any of them are public facing.

InformationRights, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

Dear D Moore,

Internal Review Request of Information request FDN:274750

I am writing in response to your request for an internal review received on 2 October 2017 as follows:

“Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.
I am writing to request an internal review of Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman's handling of my FOI request 'FOI/DP Team and related matters'.
In response to part 3 of my request:
"3. Please provide the name of the current Head of FOI/DP or, if no Head currently exists, the name of the person who is fulfilling the role and their job title. Specify the length of time the incumbent has been in the role."
You responded:
"The above job title no longer exists. We have an Interim Head of Information Assurance who has been in this role since the start of the current financial year. We also have an FOI/DP Manager."
You have not provided:
i. The name of the person who is fulfilling the role (the Interim Head of Information Assurance); and ii. The length of time they have been in the role.
In response to part 4 of my request:

"4. Please provide information on the number and job title of any FOI/DP personnel who have left the FOI/DP Team, or have indicated that they are to leave, in the past three months."

You responded:

"Since the current financial year we have had 3 separate recruitments to the FOI /DP officers’ role and these vacancies have been filled. We have also recruited twice to the FOI/DP Manager role and once to the business support role."

I did not ask about recruitment – I asked about personnel who had either left or indicated that they would leave the FOI/DP Team. You have not provided the information requested. If no one left, why didn't you tell me?

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/f...

I have reviewed your request in line with the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOI Act) and the outcome of my review is set out below.

RESPONSE
Timeliness of response – We received your request on 20 August and replied on 15 September; which is within the FOI statutory timeframe, as such there is no breach of the section 10 of the FOIA.

Information provided - I am satisfied that you have been provided with information which complies with the FOIA. With respect to the specific questions in your email requesting a review, I consider that the exemption at section 40(2) FOIA applies. Section 40(2) exempts personal information from disclosure if that information relates to someone other than the applicant, and if disclosure of the information would be considered unfair and in contravention of the 1st data protection principle in schedule 1 of the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA).

We have been guided by the ICO guidance on disclosure of information about employees which you can view here:
https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisatio.... The guidance says that “when information relates only to a post, without reference to an identifiable individual who holds that post, it would not constitute personal data.” Conversely, as the information you are requesting references an identifiable individual it constitutes personal data and we can only disclose it if it would be fair to do so under the DPA.

PHSO’s policy with regards to staff information is to withhold information that will identify junior staff i.e. officers after grade 2 except where there is an overriding reason to disclose such information. We will generally provide information about senior staff where it relates to their professional lives. Officers within the FOI/DP team are considered junior but because of the public facing nature of their roles they expect a certain level of scrutiny. However information about their start and leaving dates at PHSO is their personal information. They therefore have a reasonable expectation that this information would not be disclosed in response to an FOI request, as you know disclosure under FOI is disclosure to the world at large.

Conclusion
I am satisfied that providing information beyond what you have requested will identify individuals in breach of the Data Protection Act and for this reason I do not uphold your complaint.
I hope this now satisfactorily concludes your request. If you remain dissatisfied with our handling of your request, it is open to you to complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office (www.ico.org.uk).

Sincerely,

T. Akindele
Freedom of Information/Data Protection Manager
Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
W: www.ombudsman.org.uk

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